Barcelona president Joan Laporta on possible Lionel Messi return: We'll see

Lionel Messi warming up for PSG in the match against Stade Rennes in March 2023.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Barcelona president Joan Laporta has not ruled out a romantic return to the club for Lionel Messi, but says the relationship with the PSG forward needs to improve in order for that to happen.

Messi left Barcelona for Paris in the summer of 2021 under a cloud as the Blaugrana could not afford to keep him, but speculation of a possible return is growing after PSG's recent Champions League exit at the hands of Bayern Munich.

The Argentine attacker signed a two-year deal with PSG, with the option of one further season at the Parc des Princes, but seems unlikely to extend his time with the French champions.

"He [Messi] has the doors of Barça open," Laporta told the Joe Pomp show. "He knows that. He's part of our emblem.

"Messi is a player of PSG and I have to be careful what I say. I have to respect his club and respect him. Messi knows that we have Messi in our heart, Messi is part of our blood.

"I need to find a way to improve this relationship between Messi and FC Barcelona. We will see. Right now he is a PSG player."

Messi put all talk of his future on hold until after the World Cup, but has not spoken of his plans since winning the trophy with Argentina last December.

"He is going through a great moment because Argentina won the World Cup," Laporta said. "We were pulling for Argentina to win. We wanted Messi to be recognised and win the World Cup. We are very happy he did."

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Weekend editor

Ben Hayward is Weekend Editor for FourFourTwo. A European football writer with over 15 years’ experience, he has covered games all over the world - including three World Cups, several Champions League finals, Euros, Copa América - and has spent much of that time in Spain. He currently divides his time between Barcelona and London.